GroupM, Nielsen To Track TV Spots In-Flight

In a move that could set off a new competitive arms race on Madison Avenue, WPP's GroupM unit has struck a deal with Nielsen Co. for a new "real-time" commercial tracking system that will put competitive advertising analysis on a hair trigger. The new system, aptly dubbed KeepingTrac, will enable GroupM's media shops to evaluate TV ad campaigns in-flight, and on-on-the-fly, rather than waiting weeks to conduct post-analyses, the way traditional media buys have been evaluated and re-adjusted in the marketplace.

"KeepingTrac will not only allow us to verify in real time our ad placement but we can quickly marry that with Nielsen audience data to estimate schedule performance," stated Rino Scanzoni, Chief Investment Officer, GroupM North America. "This gives us the ability to respond pro-actively and deliver the highest level of accountability and service to our clients."

The deal also raises the accountability in the TV advertising marketplace, which has increasingly moved toward a standard based on commercial performance and away from the traditional approach of program audience results.



In fact, it was GroupM's Scanzoni, along with research chief Lyle Schwartz, who led a Madison Avenue initiative to make Nielsen's so-called "live plus three" days of commercial ratings the standard for national TV advertising buys a couple of years ago.

By becoming the first agency to tap Nielsen's new KeepingTrac system, GroupM wants to raise that accountability even higher, and the result will likely change the way all media shops manage their TV advertising buys - especially for time sensitive advertisers such as movies, automotive and retailers.

"With expedited data delivery the media agency will be able to adjust mid-campaign for over or under delivery of target audiences," Nielsen said, adding that advertisers in sensitive consumer categories such as alcohol, food, and entertainment, would also benefit from an alert feature notifying them when ads appear in television programming where the audience composition exceeds their individual thresholds to children and teens.

The software also monitors other key buying guidelines such as commercial separation, incorrect daypart, prohibited programs, wrong creative and more.

Perhaps the most ironic aspect of the deal is that GroupM parent owns TNS Media Intelligence, a direct competitor of the new KeepingTrac service.

1 comment about "GroupM, Nielsen To Track TV Spots In-Flight".
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  1. John Grono from GAP Research, February 12, 2009 at 2:45 a.m.

    Yawn. Have had all that (day-after verification and minute-by-minute ratings) in Australia for 15 or so years.

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